Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Jupiter's Legacy

Go To

Jupiter's Legacy tells the story of the legacy of the Union, a superhero team formed in the 1930s. When six friends visited a mysterious island, they and their ship's crew were granted superpowers. The six combined to forge the Union, to help America out of the Recession and promote the country's ideals.

It's now 2013, and the new generations of heroes descended from the original gifted now face a different world, and disagree with their forebears on how to save the world.

Written by Mark Millar and drawn by Frank Quitely. There's also a prequel series called Jupiter's Circle, focusing on the Union in their heyday in The '50s and 60's. In the most recent publications, the trades for Jupiter's Circle were published as volumes 1 and 2 of the series and Jupiter's Legacy as volumes 3 and 4.

A sequel series called Jupiter's Legacy Requiem began to be released in 2021. Taking place years later, it follows how the next generation follows the footsteps of their parents.


A Netflix adaptation was announced in 2018 and released on May 7th, 2021.

Provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Despite his best attempts, The Utopian is effectively condescending and demeaning of his own children, even when they try to make their own rational judgements. This is what causes Brandon's Face–Heel Turn.
  • The Ace: The Utopian is the premier superhero of the setting, being one of the most powerful, apparently one of the first, and a leader for the superhero community in general. However, he is not quite respected as others see him as increasingly old-fashioned.
  • Anti Matter: Blackstar has an antimatter reactor in his chest.
  • Badass Family: Chloe, Hutch and Jason are all superheroes that can crush buildings and travel in space with no oxygen.
  • Badass Normal: Hutch, whose father Skyfox designed a power-rod to compensate for his lack of powers. His power rod makes him capable of facing off against super-powered beings. He later takes on the Skyfox name after his father's death.
  • Advertisement:
  • Beware the Superman: The central plot of the series is Chloe, Hutch and Jason trying to free the world from Walter and Brandon's dictatorship.
  • Big Bad: Walter. He corrupted his nephew, made him kill his brother, and overthrew the government to satisfy his own ego.
  • Clark Kenting:
    • The Utopian is the most notable example in the series. He lives his life as a mechanic and lives in a suburban house with his wife. He explains this by saying that it keeps him grounded.
    • Chloe herself uses a wig and glasses to hide her identity when not explicitly being her more celebrity status.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: The Utopian is like a father figure to every child except his own children.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Common in this setting. Chloe is a Flying Brick with a sonic scream, while Jason has similar Flying Brick powers in addition to super-intelligence and telekinesis. Brandon has telekinesis, eye lasers and the ability to control lightning.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: The final issue of the second arc reveals that in-between feeling sorry for himself and getting himself drunk, Skyfox spent his years as a recluse thinking over the big questions; or at least, trying to.
  • Control Freak:
    • The Utopian has been repeatedly called out for this throughout the story.
    • It's clear Walter is this to a fault as the story progresses.
  • Darkseid Duplicate: Blackstar is a huge bald Flying Brick alien who'd already wiped out an alien species and was a struggle for the combined heroes to bring down.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: The series starts by viciously deconstructing the idea of Reed Richards Is Useless and superhero families by depicting a political coup where the Superman expy is murdered by his own son, followed up by superbeings completely failing in their attempts to reform Western society. However starting from the final issue of the first arc Chloe, Hutch and Jason start reconstructing the idea of superheroes, striving to live up to selfless ideals and create a better world despite their own flaws.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Skyfox to Hutch. He was absent for most of Hutch's life, even when not in prison.
    • Walter it turns out also has a daughter, Raikou, he never knew about from a one-time tryst.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Mark Millar says the unnamed Superman Substitute in Wanted was a depowered Utopian.
  • Flying Brick: The most common powers by far, often combined with other powers such as telekinesis and sonic screams.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Skyfox as well as his grandson Jason.
  • I Believe I Can Fly: Most superheroes seem to be Flying Bricks, albeit much weaker than the Superman Substitute protagonists.
  • Illegal Religion: One of Walter's reforms for the US is abolishing religion. We later learn that all houses of worship became schools, with Brandon saying they're being put to good use now. This, as you'd expect, prompts protests and even terrorist attacks from religious people.
  • Island of Mystery: The island that granted the heroes that make up the Union their powers. It has a cloaking field, calls to one of the heroes in dreams to come visit, is made of alien metal, has a room inside that's larger than the island and has extra-dimensional aliens on it who grant superpowers.
  • Mind over Matter: The Utopian's direct family has telekinetic powers.
  • Mind Prison: Walter's "Psychic Painting" technique; a full-sensory psychic illusion that people's minds can freely interact with while anything can be done to their catatonic body.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Mark Millar has said that the life and memoir of Carrie Fisher was the main inspiration for the character of Chloe. He empathized with the idea of being the daughter of two iconic superstars and applied it to superheroes.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Walter claims that superheroes aren't doing enough to help society and should lead instead of just treat the symptoms of its issues. It quickly becomes apparent that he just wants things done his way, and either doesn't care about the consequences to others or refuses to accept that he just doesn't know what he's talking about.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Jason is encouraged by his parents to do this so as to hide from other superhumans, as he is super-intelligent..
    Hutch: Let's go home so we can fake flunking your homework.
  • Papa Bear / Mama Bear: The moment Chloe and Hutch sense Jason is in trouble, they drop everything and rush over to fight his attackers.
  • Patricide: Brandon kills his father the Utopian to take over America.
  • Power Parasite: Repro, a flamboyant Arabic super-criminal, can steal one superhuman's powers at a time. This makes him one of the few individuals who can defeat Raikou.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Brandon. His uncle's manipulation and crippling anxieties convince him to kill his father.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: The majority of arc two.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Initially enforced in-universe by the Utopian, who goes to such lengths that he won't even allow his super-genius brother Walter to offer financial advice to politicians, even in the midst of a horrible recession. Later twisted around by the fact that Brandon and Walter try to improve the world, and do drastically change it, but only for the worse.
  • Secret-Keeper: Jason's schoolmates reveal that they know about his powers, but nonetheless supports his super-heroics and promises to think up excuses for him if anyone asks.
  • Shout-Out: Jason being encouraged to deliberately fail in his (extra)curricular activities seems to be this to The Incredibles.
  • Signature Move: Sampson's one is to trap an enemy's mind in a "psychic painting" (essentially an extremely elaborate illusion combining all five senses) while his teammates beat down the immobilized body.
  • Smug Super: Raikou is arrogant in her psychic powers, which make her almost impossible to defeat in a straight fight.
  • Super Intelligence: Jason is incredibly intelligent, capable of building a superhuman detector that out-classes the US government's when aged twelve.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Zigzagged. Most children of superhumans inherit their powers, but Hutch, the son of superhero turned super-villain Skyfox, does not.
  • Take That!: Chloe's comment about how her father would cleverly defeat his enemies without inflicting injuries might be this towards Superman stories where writers make him partake in destructive battles.
  • Tele-Frag: Walter is defeated when Hutch teleports his power-rod directly into his skull after arrogantly lowering his defenses to give him "a free try."
  • Time Skip: The plot skips forward nine years after Walter and Brandon's coup.
  • Too Clever by Half: Walter assumes that his super-intelligence alone makes him best-suited to turn the economy around, but Sheldon tells him that he doesn't really have the expertise to do so. Sheldon is proven right after Walter and Brandon seize control of America, as their policies quickly tank the economy.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The Utopian and the rest of the Union were granted superpowers by aliens from another dimension.
  • Ultimate Universe: Mark Millar says that Jupiter's Legacy and Supercrooks are set in an Alternate Continuity to the rest of Millarworld where the Fraternity never got rid of the superheroes.
  • You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness: When it becomes clear that Brandon is spiraling out of his control, Walter makes plans to eliminate him.

Jupiter's Circle provides examples of:

  • Artistic Age: The timeline would mean Flare's and Utopian's wives, who have been with them even before they got their powers and unlike them have no reason not to age like normal people, would have to be around 50 at the start of the series, yet even by the end are never drawn older than in their thirties or forties. Given how young Flare's children are, it may be straight up Continuity Snarl.
  • Cassandra Truth: Jane predicts that any child of the Utopian's would constantly feel living in his shadow. The main series of Jupiter's Legacy proves her right..
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Hobbs is modelled after Gene Hackman, undoubtedly a reference to Superman: The Movie.
  • Deconstruction: The story arc can be read as one of The Silver Age of Comic Books, featuring many of the era's high-concept superheroics, but also showing the tense political climate of the 50s and 60s.
  • Driven to Suicide: When blackmailed by J. Edgar Hoover to reveal the identities of the Union, Blue-Bolt attempts suicide via downing some pills and slitting his wrists in the bathtub, rather than betray his friends. He survives and Skyfox figures out enough of what's going on to take care of it for his friend.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Zigzagged. The Flare abandons his family to be with a woman half his age and flaunts his new relationship to the press. His wife knew she would begrudgingly forgive him and seemingly does only to later cheat on him with a waiter. The Flare's son swore to kill him, only to immediately forgive him when they were reunited.
    • Skyfox's short turn to villainy, where he kidnaps the Vice-President, is briefly forgiven after he saves the team from Hobbs's gang and Utopian is even willing to augment the team's mission to better suit George's anti-establishment agenda. Walter makes sure to sabotage everything in short order.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Skyfox refuses to kidnap the President of the United States as that would be too catastrophic for the country. So he kidnaps the Vice President to make his political point.
  • Everybody Smokes: To highlight the Deliberate Values Dissonance, characters are frequently shown smoking. Flare and Skyfox most often, but even Walter and Sheldon casually smoke while in their costumes.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Skyfox goes from being The Alcoholic to a Well-Intentioned Extremist, who is known as a villain though he may be a Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Jack Hobbs, Utopian's arch-enemy, becomes the Utopian's friend and uses his intellect to help the world.
  • Historical Domain Character: Plenty of Hollywood stars and historical figures from the 1960s appear, most notably Ayn Rand, J. Edgar Hoover, Katharine Hepburn and Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
  • Jerkass: Walter is shown to have always been a prick, calling Bluebolt a "homo" and brainwashing Sunny into loving him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: George is a womanizing alcoholic who is nonetheless a loyal friend and committed to helping those less fortunate than him. Even his turn as a "villain" has a distinctly altruistic streak to it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: J. Edgar Hoover tries to blackmail Blue-Bolt into becoming his pawn through photos of him in a tryst with another man. He later drops the scheme when Skyfox blackmails him with his own photos of Hoover engaged in sex with his right-hand man.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deconstructed as the Flare sees April as such. April is so excited about the life of superheroes, and seemingly gives Flare a new spark in life. But when the Flare becomes severely injured she leaves him as she says she is too young to take care of him.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: A heavy theme in the second volume with the Utopian questioning what he is doing while George influenced by Beatniks becomes convinced to intervene in social issues.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Every time Lady Liberty tries to pick-up an ordinary man to sleep with they become uncomfortable saying that something "feels wrong". Despite men wanting her, and she wants to be with them it never works out as her would be lovers innately feel they are in the presence of a super-being.
  • Super Intelligence:
    • Jack Hobb is phenomenally intelligent, yet is apparently technically human.
    • George and Walter are also noted to be hyper-intelligent as well, though Walter's is mostly an Informed Attribute.

Jupiter's Circle: Requeim provides examples of:

  • All Grown Up: The younger characters of Jupiter's Legacy have now grown-up, dealing with the consequences of the previous series.
  • Generation Xerox: Hutch lampshades that his marriage to Chloe failed just like Sheldon's first marriage because he could not handle being married to an insufferably perfect woman to the point that Chloe prefers that her daughter resent her than know that Hutch left Chloe.

Alternative Title(s): Jupiters Circle